In the USA we have a constitution, which is basically all of the rules that need to be followed to keep the government and country as a whole in order. The constitution has 6 basic principles that go along with it. These principles are very important and will not be broken, and if they are serious consequences are followed.
An important constitutional principle is popular sovereignty which states that the people are the source of the power. An example in the constitution that shows popular sovereignty is the preamble, which states "We the people wrote the constitution", which shows that people play a big part in deciding what happens in their government. Instead of before, where they were under the power of the British government.
With limited government, the government only has the power that the constitution gives it. For example, in article 11, section 1, clause 2 it says that you can not serve in one branch, and then go be in another one. Another example is no one person can quarter any house because they don't that. The branches cant just make up their own rules, they have to go through constitution. As you can see, the government only has the power that the constitution gives it.
Another constitutional principle is federalism, which divides power between states and federal government. This principle keeps and maintains the balance of power. Instead of the federal government having all the power, they split it in half and give the other half of power to the states. Article 1, section 10, clause 1 in the constitution states some examples of power being denied for the states. The constitution says that the states cannot print out any money. As you can see the federalism principle is very necessary.
Checks and Balances
Checks and balances allows each branch of government to limit power of the other two. Article 1, section 2, clause 5 states that the house of representatives can impeach he president. Impeaching the president means to charge or file misconduct and then the senate has the power to try impeachment cases like a court.
In a representative government the citizens elect representatives to government to make laws. This also includes an indirect democracy and indirect election of presidents. In article 1, section 3, clause 1, it states that people can vote for a new senator every 6 years. This shows that it is an indirect democracy which means elected representatives vote for the people.
Separation of powers
Lastly, the separation of powers principle divides the power between the three branches of government. The legislative, executive, and judicial are the three branches of government in the USA. In the constitution, article 2, section 5, clause 11 it states that the vice president cant vote. This shows separation of power because it shows that not one branch has all the power. As you can see, the power is slit between the three branches so not one group has to much power.
1. What are the 6 principles of the constitution?
2. Explain why in popular sovereignty the people are the source of the power?
3. Predict what would happen if the president was impeached?
4. What are the functions of the three branches of government?
5. What influence does separation of powers have on our every day lives?
6. Create a list of things that the government can and cant do, due to the constitution.